The Unnatural History of the Sea

The Unnatural History of the Sea Author Callum Roberts
ISBN-10 9781597261616
Year 2010-07-16
Pages 456
Language en
Publisher Island Press
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Humanity can make short work of the oceans’ creatures. In 1741, hungry explorers discovered herds of Steller’s sea cow in the Bering Strait, and in less than thirty years, the amiable beast had been harpooned into extinction. It’s a classic story, but a key fact is often omitted. Bering Island was the last redoubt of a species that had been decimated by hunting and habitat loss years before the explorers set sail. As Callum M. Roberts reveals in The Unnatural History of the Sea, the oceans’ bounty didn’t disappear overnight. While today’s fishing industry is ruthlessly efficient, intense exploitation began not in the modern era, or even with the dawn of industrialization, but in the eleventh century in medieval Europe. Roberts explores this long and colorful history of commercial fishing, taking readers around the world and through the centuries to witness the transformation of the seas. Drawing on firsthand accounts of early explorers, pirates, merchants, fishers, and travelers, the book recreates the oceans of the past: waters teeming with whales, sea lions, sea otters, turtles, and giant fish. The abundance of marine life described by fifteenth century seafarers is almost unimaginable today, but Roberts both brings it alive and artfully traces its depletion. Collapsing fisheries, he shows, are simply the latest chapter in a long history of unfettered commercialization of the seas. The story does not end with an empty ocean. Instead, Roberts describes how we might restore the splendor and prosperity of the seas through smarter management of our resources and some simple restraint. From the coasts of Florida to New Zealand, marine reserves have fostered spectacular recovery of plants and animals to levels not seen in a century. They prove that history need not repeat itself: we can leave the oceans richer than we found them.

The Ocean of Life

The Ocean of Life Author Callum Roberts
ISBN-10 9781101583562
Year 2012-05-24
Pages 432
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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A Silent Spring for oceans, written by "the Rachel Carson of the fish world" (The New York Times) Who can forget the sense of wonder with which they discovered the creatures of the deep? In this vibrant hymn to the sea, Callum Roberts—one of the world’s foremost conservation biologists—leads readers on a fascinating tour of mankind’s relationship to the sea, from the earliest traces of water on earth to the oceans as we know them today. In the process, Roberts looks at how the taming of the oceans has shaped human civilization and affected marine life. We have always been fish eaters, from the dawn of civilization, but in the last twenty years we have transformed the oceans beyond recognition. Putting our exploitation of the seas into historical context, Roberts offers a devastating account of the impact of modern fishing techniques, pollution, and climate change, and reveals what it would take to steer the right course while there is still time. Like Four Fish and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, The Ocean of Life takes a long view to tell a story in which each one of us has a role to play.

Floating Gold

Floating Gold Author Christopher Kemp
ISBN-10 9780226430362
Year 2012-05-15
Pages 187
Language en
Publisher University of Chicago Press
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Discusses what ambergris is and how the substance factors into the natural history of whales and squid, ocean ecology, and the history of the perfume industry.

The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction Author Elizabeth Kolbert
ISBN-10 9781408851210
Year 2014
Pages 336
Language en
Publisher A&C Black
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A major book about the future of the world, blending natural history, field reporting and the history of ideas and into a powerful account of the mass extinction happening today

Secrets of the Seas

Secrets of the Seas Author Callum Roberts
ISBN-10 9781472927637
Year 2016-09-22
Pages 240
Language en
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
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Our seas are host to an extraordinary variety of plant and animal life, but much of it remains mysterious and great imagery is surprisingly hard to find. Alex Mustard is one of the world's leading underwater photographers and his images are so crisp and immediate that the animals seem to swim out of the water towards you. This beautiful book gathers together a selection of his award-winning images and a number of new ones to create a vivid picture of the seas and oceans and the animals that inhabit them, each chapter accompanied by a 1500 word essay and extended captions written by leading natural history writer, Professor Callum Roberts. The text addresses the issue of change in the oceans along with tales of oceanography, marine life and human history in the seas and aims to help the reader to get to know the oceans, understand how marine animals live their lives and how they have, are and may well adapt to change.

A Natural History of the Unnatural World

A Natural History of the Unnatural World Author Joel Levy
ISBN-10 STANFORD:36105025086476
Year 2000
Pages 224
Language en
Publisher
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This imaginative guide uses first hand accounts, historical records, works of literature and art, and the imaginative insights of the scientifically trained author to detail the evolution, habits, life cycles, reproductive behaviour and specialised abilities of dozens of fabled beings.

Acts of God

Acts of God Author Ted Steinberg
ISBN-10 0199838917
Year 2006-07-20
Pages 336
Language en
Publisher Oxford University Press
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As the waters of the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain began to pour into New Orleans, people began asking the big question--could any of this have been avoided? How much of the damage from Hurricane Katrina was bad luck, and how much was poor city planning? Steinberg's Acts of God is a provocative history of natural disasters in the United States. This revised edition features a new chapter analyzing the failed response to Hurricane Katrina, a disaster Steinberg warned could happen when the book first was published. Focusing on America's worst natural disasters, Steinberg argues that it is wrong to see these tragedies as random outbursts of nature's violence or expressions of divine judgment. He reveals how the decisions of business leaders and government officials have paved the way for the greater losses of life and property, especially among those least able to withstand such blows--America's poor, elderly, and minorities. Seeing nature or God as the primary culprit, Steinberg explains, has helped to hide the fact that some Americans are simply better able to protect themselves from the violence of nature than others. In the face of revelations about how the federal government mishandled the Katrina calamity, this book is a must-read before further wind and water sweep away more lives. Acts of God is a call to action that needs desperately to be heard.

On Monsters

On Monsters Author Stephen T. Asma
ISBN-10 9780199798094
Year 2011-09-01
Pages 368
Language en
Publisher Oxford University Press
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Follows the evolution of monsters throughout time from Behemoth and Leviathan to the post-human cyborgs of tomorrow, in order to understand the mysterious territory outside of rational thought.

Overfishing

Overfishing Author Ray Hilborn
ISBN-10 9780199798148
Year 2012-04-06
Pages 150
Language en
Publisher OUP USA
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A discussion of overfishing explores the scientific, political, ethical, and economic issues associated with harvesting the ocean's fish, using case studies of fisheries from around the world to answer the issue's most pressing questions.

The Unnatural Nature of Science

The Unnatural Nature of Science Author Lewis Wolpert
ISBN-10 9780571317387
Year 2014-05-15
Pages 208
Language en
Publisher Faber & Faber
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This book shows that many of our understandings about scientific thought can be corrected once we realise just how "unnatural" science actually is. Quoting scientists from Aristotle to Einstein, the author argues that scientific ideas are, with rare exceptions, counter-intuitive and that common sense often makes no sense at all. A passionate advocate of the beauty and importance of science, the author examines a range of issues, including why science and technology are quite different, why psychoanalysis is not properly scientific and why philosophers and sociologists have made so little contribution to understanding science's true nature. He demonstrates the folly of holding scientists responsible for many of society's problems, and the equal folly of looking to science for a miracle cure.

The Death and Life of Monterey Bay

The Death and Life of Monterey Bay Author Stephen R Palumbi
ISBN-10 9781597269872
Year 2011-01-26
Pages 224
Language en
Publisher Island Press
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Anyone who has ever stood on the shores of Monterey Bay, watching the rolling ocean waves and frolicking otters, knows it is a unique place. But even residents on this idyllic California coast may not realize its full history. Monterey began as a natural paradise, but became the poster child for industrial devastation in John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row,and is now one of the most celebrated shorelines in the world. It is a remarkable story of life, death, and revival—told here for the first time in all its stunning color and bleak grays. The Death and Life of Monterey Bay begins in the eighteenth century when Spanish and French explorers encountered a rocky shoreline brimming with life—raucous sea birds, abundant sea otters, barking sea lions, halibut the size of wagon wheels,waters thick with whales. A century and a half later, many of the sea creatures had disappeared, replaced by sardine canneries that sickened residents with their stench but kept the money flowing. When the fish ran out and the climate turned,the factories emptied and the community crumbled. But today,both Monterey’s economy and wildlife are resplendent. How did it happen? The answer is deceptively simple: through the extraordinary acts of ordinary people. The Death and Life of Monterey Bay is the biography of a place, but also of the residents who reclaimed it. Monterey is thriving because of an eccentric mayor who wasn’t afraid to use pistols, axes, or the force of law to protect her coasts. It is because of fishermen who love their livelihood, scientists who are fascinated by the sea’s mysteries, and philanthropists and community leaders willing to invest in a world-class aquarium. The shores of Monterey Bay revived because of human passion—passion that enlivens every page of this hopeful book.

Ice Bear

Ice Bear Author Kieran Mulvaney
ISBN-10 9781409022909
Year 2011-01-06
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher Random House
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The polar bear is one of the most recognisable animals on the planet. Yet if global warming continues at its present pace, summer sea ice could disappear entirely from the Arctic Ocean by the year 2040. Polar bears could be extinct within a generation. Ice Bear is the definitive account of an iconic species: its life, its past, and its uncertain future. These beautiful bears are creatures of paradox: Arctic residents whose major problem is not staying warm, but keeping cool. Officially classed as marine mammals, they are the world's largest land carnivores. They begin life in a snowdrift; at birth they weigh just twenty ounces. Fully grown, they become massive predators that can walk almost silently, ten feet in length and close to 2,000 pounds. Wandering thousands of miles over the course of a year, they are, above all, creatures of the ice. Without sea ice and the life it supports, polar bears cannot survive. Kieran Mulvaney is an expert on the Polar regions who has led three expeditions to the Arctic as well as Project Thin Ice 2006: Save the Polar Bear - the successful first attempt to reach the North Pole in summer and draw attention to the impact of climate change on polar bears. This book blends natural and human history, myth and reality with scientific and personal observation, to tell the story of these remarkable animals, the region in which they dwell, and the rapid changes overtaking planet Earth.

The Case of the Green Turtle

The Case of the Green Turtle Author Alison Rieser
ISBN-10 9781421406190
Year 2012-07-12
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher JHU Press
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The journals of early maritime explorers traversing the Atlantic Ocean often describe swarms of sea turtles, once a plentiful source of food. Many populations had been decimated by the 1950s, when Archie Carr and others raised public awareness of their plight. One species, the green turtle, has been the most heavily exploited due to international demand for turtle products, especially green turtle soup. The species has achieved some measure of recovery due to thirty years of conservation efforts, but remains endangered. In The Case of the Green Turtle, Alison Rieser provides an unparalleled look into the way science and conservation interact by focusing on the most controversial aspect of green turtle conservation—farming. While proponents argued that farming green sea turtles would help save them, opponents countered that it encouraged a taste for turtle flesh that would lead to the slaughter of wild stocks. The clash of these viewpoints once riveted the world. Rieser relies on her expertise in ocean ecology, policy, and law to reveal how the efforts to preserve sea turtles changed marine conservation and the way we view our role in the environment. Her study of this early conservation controversy will fascinate anyone who cares about sea turtles or the oceans in which they live. -- C. Kenneth Dodd, Jr.

Mirabilis

Mirabilis Author Karl P. N. Shuker
ISBN-10 1938398432
Year 2015-06-01
Pages 194
Language en
Publisher
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Welcome to a carnival unlike anything that you have ever read about, visited, or even imagined before. Here, before your very eyes, you will encounter bizarre, anomalous creatures of every conceivable (and inconceivable!) kind--a veritable menagerie of cryptozoological mysteries to dazzle and delight, tantalize and terrify. For this is Mirabilis--a realm of marvels, wonders, miracles...and monsters! Peer through the shadows and see what you may. Was that scuttling horror a spider the size of a puppy? Did that fallen tree trunk suddenly sprout a pair of alligator jaws? Was that a living toad that leapt out of that split-asunder block of stone? Did those flowers abruptly put forth wings and fly away as tiny birds? Behold Trunko, the hairy marine elephant-bear that supposedly battled whales off the coast of South Africa almost a century ago. Look around in every direction and witness the very last giant lemurs brought to you from the rainforests of Madagascar, the very same unicorn that was once encountered by Julius Caesar, dinosaur-sized crocodiles from the swamps of the Congo, the elephantine harpoon-tusked sukotyro of Sumatra, gargantuan prehistoric beavers resurrected in modern-day North America, illusive Germanic horned hares and elusive Liberian micro-squirrels, a giant sea snail with antlers and paws from the Sarmatian Sea and a veritable whale-fish from a forgotten Swedish lake, a vanished striped mystery steed from Iberia, enormous toothless freshwater sharks from South America, flying turtles from China and a hippoturtleox from Tibet, sea dragons and pseudo-pterodactyls, and the world's only known tusked megalopedus. Let us not tarry even a moment longer. The miracles and marvels of Mirabilis await you. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Born and still living in the West Midlands, England, Karl P.N. Shuker graduated from the University of Leeds with a Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree in pure zoology, and from the University of Birmingham with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in zoology and comparative physiology. He now works full-time as a freelance zoological consultant to the media, and as a prolific published writer. Shuker is currently the author of 19 books and hundreds of articles, principally on animal-related subjects, with an especial interest in cryptozoology and animal mythology, on which he is an internationally recognized authority, but also including a poetry volume. In addition, he has acted as consultant for several major multi-contributor volumes as well as for the world-renowned Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (he is currently its Senior Consultant for its Life Sciences section); and he has compiled questions for the BBC's long-running cerebral quiz Mastermind. He is also the editor of the Journal of Cryptozoology, the world's only existing peer-reviewed scientific journal devoted to mystery animals. Shuker has travelled the world in the course of his researches and writings, and has appeared regularly on television and radio. Aside from work, his diverse range of interests include motorbikes, the life and career of James Dean, collecting masquerade and carnival masks, quizzes, philately, poetry, travel, world mythology, and the history of animation. He is a Scientific Fellow of the prestigious Zoological Society of London, and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. He is Cryptozoology Consultant to the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and is also a Member of the Society of Authors."